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The Sun (subscription needed) is serialising excerpts of former Premier League referee Mark Halsey's autobiography, with the first installment shedding light on the infamous saga surrounding Mark Clattenburg and Jon Obi Mikel.
In the excerpt, Halsey claims that Mikel threatened to break Clattenburg's legs and then tried to punch him after hearing accusations that the referee had called the Chelsea midfielder a "monkey"—accusations that were latter fully disproved.
As the Sun relates:
In extracts from his autobiography Halsey says that Mikel burst into the referees’ dressing room after the game and shouted: 'I’m going to break your legs. You called me a f***ing monkey.'
Halsey continues: 'He tried to land a punch on Mark but was pulled away by a combination of the then Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo and assistant Eddie Newton and Mark’s three fellow officials.'
According to Halsey: 'We [the top referees] were unhappy that Mikel’s behaviour had not been made public and we were not impressed by Chelsea’s feeble admission that they could have handled the situation better. We wanted a proper apology.'
Halsey, who has made a somewhat unremarkable start to life as a co-commentator for BT Sport ("Mark, did the referee get that decision right?" "Yes ... er, yes I think he did"), adds that the referees were proposing to boycott all Chelsea games—potentially causing untold trouble to Premier League fixture lists—until Clattenburg received a formal apology.
We were all, as a group of referees, speaking on the phone regularly ... and the mood was for a strike. At first it was just to refuse to officiate at Chelsea matches unless Mark got a proper apology. That action was not deemed feasible so we contemplated an all-out strike.
No strike came about. Expect more Halsey "revelations" in the coming days and weeks...